Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Striker link-switch leaves me a little cold.

All appears to be going quiet on both Alvaro Negredo and Oscar Cardozo; two potential signings, which, quite excite me. And as talks of the Spanish and Paraguayan joining City subside, news – AGAIN – is surfacing of Montenegro & Fiorentina striker Stevan Jovetic seems to be gathering pace.

Stevan Jovetic
Is it just me or does Jovetic leave anyone else feeling a little cool? His stats see him as about a 1 in 4 striker at both club and international level and although he’s only 23; stepping into the Premier League with those stats doesn’t bode tremendously well. Goals were very much at the heart of the problem last season (if you now call league and F.A. Cup runners up a problem of course) and so Stevan doesn’t appear to be a step in the right direction of solving that issue.
Time – and the Montenegrin himself – might prove me wrong and if we do sign him, I truly hope so of course. It could be, like most summer rumblings, just pure speculation. But this one seems to have been simmering for 2 years or more now – it’s like the Cavani link; a ‘Mancini target’ that just won’t go away.

That’s what friends are for…NOT!

In the mean time, it has emerged that Sergio Aguero has told “friends” who then, presumably blabbed to someone with ‘press’ links, that he wants a move to Barcelona. If he did, I’m sure he meant some time in the future and not right now. Family issues aside he seems very happy at City and which player wouldn’t be excited by the changes that are happening to the Blues at the moment?
I hope he’s not manoeuvring for a switch to the Spanish giants just yet or ANY time for that matter and I’m sure it was an ‘off the cuff’ remark that was taken the wrong way; then sneakily leaked to the rumour-mongering press.

First press call

Manchester City Press Room
Before jetting off to South Africa for a pre-season tour, Manuel Pellegrini is to hold his first press conference along side Fernandinho today (Wednesday 10.07.2013).
I’m really looking forward to what he has to say and, in particular, to see how he handles (I’m sure) cheeky questions from some of our press guys & girls. Update: Click here for press conference.


Tackling the defence

One report states the Pepe deal is dead and another says we’ve agreed a fee. I for one hope that it’s the former
Although no deal extension has been agreed, Lescott appears to be staying put. Joleon wants to stay and it would appear Pellegrini WANTS him to, which is good news in my opinion.
Often disliked by Mancini for not being a defender who can take the ball out of defence and link up well with the midfield, talk is that Pellegrini likes his defenders to [just] defend and his midfielders to concentrate most of their efforts on attack. That certainly would suit Joleon.
Slightly more worrying is the links to other clubs of Micah Richards who himself has not signed a deal extension. I am confident that Pellegrini would like Micah to stay and I think he will. We’d be daft to let him go; we need him & Zaba competing for the right-back slot - and let’s not forget that Micah can play centre-half quite efficiently too.
I want to start seeing us being linked with a move for a left-back soon; as cover/competition for Clichy. All has gone quiet on Kolarov being linked with a move away since we, apparently, have (rightly so) turned down a loan move with Juventus.



Before adding this latest blog post I found myself looking up how hot it was in South Africa at the moment, where the lads are heading for the first part of their pre-season tour (other pre-season activity sees the Blues travel to Hong Kong, Munich and a one-off game against Arsenal in Helsinki’s Olympic Stadium, Finland). I was surprised to see that it's considerably cooler than it is here in very sunny and very hot Manchester. So the players should have no issues with the heat at least.
The squad that travels to South Africa is:
Goalkeepers: Joe Hart, Costel Pantilimon, Richard Wright, Eirik Johansen
Defenders: Micah Richards, Maicon, Pablo Zabaleta, Aleksandar Kolarov, Gael Clichy, Karim Rekik, Joleon Lescott, Vincent Kompany, Matija Nastasic, Dedryck Boyata, Shay Facey
Midfielders: James Milner, Fernandinho, Samir Nasri, Gareth Barry, Denis Suarez, Emyr Huws, Scott Sinclair, Javi Garcia, Jack Rodwell, Abdul Razak, Yaya Toure
Forwards: Sergio Aguero, Edin Dzeko, John Guidetti, Alex Nimely, Devante Cole

Alternative destination

Not heading to South Africa is left-sided defender Karim Rekik, who is off to PSV Eindhoven on loan for the rest of the season. Let’s hope a season in his homeland will aid his route into Manchester City’s first team.
Finally, just a quick “hi” to the Blue that I bumped into and chatted with in Stamford during a brief holiday in that area. I didn’t catch his name but originally from Altrincham, he’s keeping the faith as much as possible from the Lincolnshire / Rutland / Cambridgeshire area.

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